JUNIOR Minister Joe McHugh has confirmed the Breast Service Unit is to continue at Letterkenny General Hospital
“Following a meeting I arranged at Letterkenny General Hospital last Friday, 16 January 2015, with both Management and Consultants at the hospital, it was brought to my attention that the hospital would not be in a position to provide a consultancy service to patients who had been referred by their GP for specific breast services,”Minister of State McHugh said.
“During the three hour meeting at the hospital, I was informed that the current number of routine patients awaiting an appointment at Letterkenny Hospital, which was in direct breach of the HSE’s 12 week target, was estimated at 600. The suggested proposal was to write to each person, requesting that they travel to Galway to avail of consultant services at Galway Hospital.
“Following that meeting, I contacted the Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, to highlight what I had been informed of and to discuss what steps were needed to be taken in order to prevent this action from going ahead. The Minister, his staff and his officials at the Department took immediate action and a conference call took place between the relevant HSE officials and the Saolta Group on Monday, 19 January 2015.
“I can confirm that during that conference call, a number of decisions were taken –
Short Term: a further review of the situation would take place immediately; that an immediate appointment of a locum consultant breast surgeon would be made; and additional clinics would be arranged at Letterkenny Hospital to support the review of patients.
Medium Term: Consideration will be given to the placement of GP support to the Consultant at the Letterkenny Unit; the recruitment of an Advanced Nurse Practitioner to help support the Unit; to review the delivery of an integrated Breast Services across the Group.